Londoners weekend in Premier League; Mourinho’s Chelsea team started to play, Arsenal like Terminator and Tottenham got a new Bale when Manchester United keep loose.
Chelsea 4 Cardiff City 1: Jose Mourinho’s saw off a spirited Cardiff.
Mourinho’s side had enjoyed a fine win against Norwich the previous weekend, with Willian instrumental in that game.
Eto’o and Willian were both named in the starting line-up as Jose Mourinho made a bold decision.
But they got off to the worse possible start when after 10 minutes, Jordan Mutch danced through the Blues defence and dinked the ball over Petr Cech, who was making his 300th appearance for the club.
Chelsea were enjoying the bulk of the possession but couldn’t make it count.
But they restored parity when Eden Hazard buried the ball past David Marshall in the 33rd minute.
Chelsea were in the ascendancy and shortly after the hour mark, they went ahead when Eto’o drilled a low shot into the net.
Cardiff refused to throw in the towel, but they conceded 12 minutes from time when Oscar curled a shot past Marshall off the underside of the bar.
And Hazard grabbed his second and Chelsea’s fourth when his shot was spilt into the net by Marshall with eight minutes remaining.
Chelsea had to come from behind after a mistake from David Luiz allowed Jordon Mutch in to clip the ball over Petr Cech, who was making his 300th Premier League appearance.
Chelsea’s equaliser was a result of an error of judgement from referee Anthony Taylor.
David Marshall bounced the ball in front of Samuel Eto’o, who simply stuck out a leg to nick it, even though FIFA rules state the goalkeeper is still in possession at that point.
Eto’o then contrived to miss after receiving a pass from Eden Hazard, who netted while the Cameroon striker was on the floor.
Eto’o did claim his first Chelsea goal midway through the second half and Oscar and Hazard, with his second, wrapped up victory.
The third and fourth goals came after Mourinho was dismissed from the touchline for berating the officials to a chorus of “Jose Mourinho, he sits where he wants” as the manager took a seat behind the dugout.
Mourinho is now unbeaten in 64 Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge, but few can have been as incident packed as Chelsea claimed a fourth home win from four this season to extend their unbeaten home run to 12 matches.
It was a breathless start to the first of five Chelsea games in 15 days, with the crucial Champions League Group E clash at Schalke next on Tuesday.
Cardiff won in west London last month through Mutch’s stoppage-time strike but there was no repeat of the late hurrah at Fulham as the visitors were soundly beaten.
Cardiff boss Malky Mackay made a point of applauding the visiting fans before kick-off after a fraught international break in which his head of recruitment Iain Moody was replaced by 23-year-old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov on an interim basis.
Apsalyamov, thought to be a friend of the son of Cardiff owner Vincent Tan, was in the directors’ box at Stamford Bridge as the visitors took a shock early lead.
Mourinho had heaped praise on his central defenders John Terry and Luiz in the build up, with the pair keeping England man Gary Cahill out of the side.
But the Brazil defender’s error let Mutch in.
A David Marshall goal-kick was pulled down and Ramires played the ball backwards towards Luiz, who left it and Mutch stole in to loft the ball over the onrushing Cech.
Cardiff had to defend doggedly to protect their advantage and Terry twice headed wide from Mata corners.
Cardiff had opportunities, too, and Cech had to acrobatically claw away a flicked-on Peter Odemwingie header.
Worryingly for Chelsea, Cardiff then won four successive headers unchallenged in the hosts’ area, the last of them seeing Aron Gunnarsson head over Cech’s bar.
Chelsea’s equaliser was controversial.
Marshall chose to bounce the ball with Eto’o lurking and had the ball stolen in a manner reminiscent of Gary Crosby taking the ball from Andy Dibble 23 years ago and Dion Dublin dispossessing Shay Given in November 1997.
Hazard picked the ball up and centred for Eto’o, who clumsily failed to get a shot away.
The ball broke for Hazard whose shot went in with a slight deflection as Eto’o, who had just spurned a glorious opportunity for his first Blues goal, lay prone inside the six-yard box.
A look at the FIFA rules showed the officials should have disallowed the strike.
Marshall was booked nine minutes into the second half for wasting time over a Cardiff goal-kick as he attempted to give his defence a breather.
The visitors were under siege, but the ball would not fall for Chelsea, who introduced Fernando Torres for left-back Ryan Bertrand.
When it did, Oscar, Hazard and Eto’o combined to devastating effect, the striker firing in low beyond Marshall.
Cech showed why he was hailed as the world’s number one goalkeeper in the build-up by Mourinho by saving spectacularly from Kim Bo-kyung as Cardiff came close to an equaliser.
Then Chelsea stepped up a gear, as if to make amends for their manager’s absence from the technical area, where he had spent much of the game in conversation with fourth official Trevor Kettle.
Oscar thrashed the ball high into the net from the edge of the area and, after Willian fired straight at Marshall on the counter attack, Hazard shot through the Scotland goalkeeper after cutting in from the left on to his right foot.
Chelsea vs Cardiff City Match Stats
CHELSEA: Cech 6; Ivanovic 6, Terry 7, Luiz 5, Bertrand 7 (Torres 64 min, 5); Ramires 5, Lampard 6; Mata 5 (Oscar 59, 7), WiIlian 5, Hazard 7; Eto’o 6 (Azpilicueta, 69, 5).
SUBS: Schwarzer, Essien, Cahill, De Bruyne.
MANAGER: Jose Mourinho 6.
GOALS: Hazard 34 & 82, Eto’o 66, Oscar 78.
SENT OFF: Mourinho.
CARDIFF CITY: Marshall 5; Theophile-Catherine 6, Caulker 5, Turner 5, Taylor 5; Cowie 6, Gunnarsson 6 (Gestede 81), Medel 5 (Kim 56, 6), Whittingham 5; Mutch 7; Odemwingie 6 (Campbell 68, 5).
SUBS: Lewis, Hudson, Noone, Maynard.
MANAGER: Malky Mackay 5.
GOALS: Mutch 10.
BOOKINGS: Cowie, Marshall.
REFEREE: Anthony Taylor 4.
Chelsea 4 Cardiff City 1 Match Video[media id=962 width=610 height=340]
Arsenal 4 Norwich City 1:Arsenal very “Mesut” ( Turkish language Mesut meaning of the word happy )
Arsene Wenger had seen Liverpool momentarily go to the summit after picking up a point in the lunchtime kick-off against Newcastle.
With Santi Cazrola back, Arsenal were menacing.
They took the lead in the 18th minute courtesy of Wilshere. Some brilliant one-touch play involving Cazorla, Wilshere and Olivier Giroud resulted in the midfielder steering the ball home.
A one-goal cushion is always precarious but they gave some breathing space in the 58th minute.
Mesut Ozil was picked out by Giroud and he headed past John Ruddy.
Norwich responded through Johnny Howson when he scored with a controlled finish from 18 yards.
Ramsey then added his ninth goal of the season and Ozil notched up his second to end any hopes of a Norwich comeback.
Rather than Mesut Ozil being Arsenal’s danger man for Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday it’s Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey they will need to watch just as much.
The pair of them ripped poor Norwich apart yesterday with super goals that fired the Gunners two points clear at the top of the Premier League and reinforced their credentials as real contenders for the Champions League.
Ozil’s two goals were a warning in themselves. But Wilshere and Ramsey were something else on the day. Particularly Wilshere.
As manager Arsene Wenger cooed afterwards: “Wilshere’s goal was one of the best I have seen, as much because it was a team goal as well as his technique, speed and quick reactions. It was a great goal.
“All our goals today were great, but Jack’s was exceptional.”
But while acknowledging his team’s hunger and quality, he warned: “It is important we remain consistent. We can’t get into a comfort zone.”
Sorry Norwich must have wondered what on earth was in store for them when Arsenal were able to leave Ramsey on the bench to start with. They found out after 17 minutes.
A delightful six-pass move involving both Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla was started and finished by Wilshere, who cut through the Canaries defence like a knife through butter. The time and space he had to score Arsenal’s opener was all his own work.
Norwich fans behind the net he put it into didn’t like what they saw. But even they had to admit he is the sort of class act they just don’t have.
It could so easily have been two if John Ruddy hadn’t produced a superb save to deny Giroud.
And when Ramsey finally did come on for head injury victim Mathieu Flamini soon afterwards, Norwich’s prospects looked bleak. To be fair the visitors did have a little flutter just before half-time and Wojciech Szczesny did well to parry a long-range effort from Leroy Fer.
As long as there was only one goal in it, though, Norwich were still in with a chance – and they knew it. Enough, in fact, to put the Gunners under pressure for the first time.
They needn’t have worried – not when you have £42.5million of talent waiting to emerge from what was a relatively quiet afternoon by Mesut Ozil’s standards.
The Turkish descent German international had done little up to the 57th minute, but he was there when it mattered to glide Giroud’s cross home with his head just when the Canaries looked as if they were getting above themselves.
That’s precisely what they did, though, on 70 minutes when Jonathan Howson nicked one back.
Enter Ramsey and a superb solo third – after Wilshere set him up – that had the fans chanting his name in appreciation. And quite right too.
He didn’t just calm the nerves when it mattered. He then set up Ozil to wrap it all up with Arsenal’s fourth.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton said of Wilshere’s wonder goal: “There aren’t many teams that will score a goal like that and it is testament to the sort of form Arsenal are in.
“The biggest disappointment to me is that people will look at this scoreline and see a different picture to the real one.”
Arsenal vs Norwich City Match Stats
Arsenal: Szczesny 6, Sagna 7, Mertesacker 6, Koscielny 7, Gibbs 7, Arteta 7, Flamini 6 (Ramsey 37, 8), Wilshere 8, Mesut Ozil 8, Cazorla 7 (Rosicky 59, 6), Giroud 6 (Bendtner 78, 6)
Subs not used: Vermaelen, Monreal, Fabianski, Jenkinson.
Goals: Wilshere 18, Mesut Ozil 58, Ramsey 83, Mesut Ozil 88.
Norwich: Ruddy 8, Martin 6, Turner 6, Bassong 6, Olsson 6, Tettey 6 (Hoolahan 79, 6), Snodgrass 6,Howson 7, Fer 7, Pilkington 6 (Redmond 70, 6), Hooper 6.
Subs not used: Whittaker, Johnson,Bunn, Becchio, Ryan Bennett.
Goals: Howson 70
Referee: Lee Probert
Arsenal 4 Norwich City 1 Match Video[media id=963 width=610 height=340]
Aston Villa 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2:The best replacement for Gareth Bale, Andros Townsend
The winger scored a somewhat fortuitous first-half goal before Soldado settled it to put a smile back on Andre Villas-Boas’ face.
The north London outfit were easily dismantled by West Ham last weekend as Ravel Morrison inspired the Hammers to a 3-0 victory.
Spurs enjoyed the early possession though had an early scare when Jan Vertonghen missed his kick with Gabriel Agbonlahor lurking, but the Villa striker skied the ball over the bar.
The visitors were neat in their passage play but their opener on the half hour mark had an element of luck about it. Townsend whipped a ball in that eluded Holtby and Brad Guzan before nestling in the back of the net.
Andreas Weimann came close to equalising but saw his controlled strike brush Hugo Lloris’ side-netting.
Townsend nearly had his second on the stroke of half-time but sent Guzan sprawling with his low drive.
Christian Benteke came off the bench for the start of the second-half and squandered a glorious chance five minutes after the restart when he sent a soaring header over the bar.
Spurs managed to move through the gears and they settled proceedings in the 69th minute when Soldado latched onto a slick pass from Paulinho before clipping it past Guzan for his first goal in the Premier League from open play.
Townsend continued to cause havoc and nearly laid on a third with ten minutes remaining, and though Paulinho got a touch to it, the ball flashed wide.
Spurs climb back to fifth thanks to this result.
Aston Villa vs Tottenham Match Stats
Aston Villa: Guzan 7, Bacuna 6, Vlaar 6, Baker 6, Luna 4; Westwood 6, Delph 8, El Ahmadi 5; (Sylla 72, 6) Weimann 6, Kozak 5, (Benteke 61, 6) Agbonlahor 6. (Tonev 79, 6).
Subs not used: Bennett, Steer, Bowey, Baker.
Booked: Westwood, Agbonlahor, Delph.
Spurs: Lloris 6, Walker 6, Dawson 7, Chiriches 6,Vertonghen 7, Paulinho 7, Sandro 7; Townsend 8, Holtby 7, (Dembele 73, 6) Sigurdsson 6; (Lennon 66 ,6) Soldado 7. (Defoe 87).
Subs not used: Friedel, Naughton, Eriksen, Lamela.
Goals: Townsend 31, Soldado 69.
Booked: Paulinho, Dawson, Lennon.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Man of the match: Andros Townsend
Aston Villa 0 Tottenham 2 Match Video[media id=964 width=610 height=340]
English Premier League Game Week 8 Other Results
Newcastle 2 Liverpool 2
Swansea City 4 Sunderland 0
Stoke City 0 West Brom 0
Arsenal 4 Norwich City 1
Chelsea 4 Cardiff City 1
Everton 2 Hull City 1
Man United 1 Southampton 1
West Ham 1 Man City 3
Sunday, October 20
Aston Villa 0 Tottenham 2
Monday, October 21
Crystal Palace 8:00 PM Fulham
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